principality of hutt river

10

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Day 8 - Principality of Hutt River

On the final day of the tour we continued to make our way back down to Perth. Our first stop of the day was to the Principality of Hutt River. Hutt River is considered a “micronation” and claims to be an independent state. It was founded in 1970 by Leonard Casley who has since gone by “Prince Leonard,” it’s 75 square kilometers and has a population of around 23.

I’m sure you’re wondering how a person could claim part of Australia as their own? Apparently it all started over a dispute between the Casley family and the Western Australia government concerning wheat production quotas. I guess the new quotas were put in place after his wheat had been harvested, which allowed him to sell only a portion of his harvest. This caused Casley to take his case to the government, and this is what resulted:

“In correspondence with the Governor-General’s office, Casley was inadvertently addressed as the "Administrator of the Hutt River Province” which was claimed (via Royal Prerogative as the Queen’s representative) to be a legally binding recognition.[5][7] After Prime Minister William McMahon threatened him with prosecution for “infringement of territory,” Casley styled himself “His Majesty Prince Leonard I of Hutt” to take advantage of the British Treason Act 1495 in which a self-proclaimed monarch could not be guilty of any offence against the rightful ruler and that anyone who interfered with that monarch’s duties could be charged with treason.[1] The governments recognition of Casley as “Administrator of Hutt River” had inadvertently made the Treason Act applicable and Casley continued to sell his wheat in open defiance of the quota.[8] Although the law in this matter has since changed, the Australian Constitution prevented its retrospectivity and the Australian government has not taken any action against Hutt River since the declaration.[9] Under Australian law, the federal government had two years to respond to Casley’s declaration; Casley says that the failure to respond gave the province de facto autonomy on 21 April 1972.“ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Hutt_River)

Many other strange happenings occurred, such as Hutt River declaring war on Australia in 1977, due to hostilities revolving around the taxation office and the fact that Hutt River’s mail had to be redirected through Canada as the Australian Post refused to handle it.

Some more interesting things to note: Hutt River residents can declare themselves as "non residents” of Australia for income tax purposes, exempting them from paying Australian tax. Hutt River has coins and banknotes depicting Casley - its currency is called the Hutt River Dollar.

When we arrived at Hutt River we were shown around by one of Prince Leonard’s son’s - the ‘town’ area has its own chapel, post office, statue of Prince Leonard, and museum. Prince Leonard then arrived and for $2 he looked at your passport using a blue light (while looking at mine he told me that Canada’s passport is the most colourful), and then he stamps your passport with entry and exit visas. They’ve been collecting bank notes from visitors around the world, and as you can see from the picture above I found a few Canadian ones. Prince Leonard sure is an interesting fellow - he describes himself as a mathemetician, he’s published books and papers relating to 'Creation and Spiritual,’ and above is a picture of the 'Mathematical Model of Nature’s Biological Clock.' 

Both Prince Leonard and his son, who I believe was Prince Graeme, were extremely friendly and you could tell they absolutely loved being able to show visitors around their land. What an interesting place to say the least!

Hutt River: *takes a deep breath*


Hutt River: i lo-


Micronations: yes, you love yourself, we know, you love yourself so much, you’re the light of your life, you love yourself so much, you just love yourself - we KNOW, you yourself you fucking love the principality of hutt River which happens to be you ok we know, we get it, YOU LOVE YOURSELF. WE GET IT.

decadentloverninja  asked:

*very lost and confused Hera* uhm... *walks over and gently tugs on their shirt* excuse me.. Where am I? I'm kind of lost right now.. -Femgreeces-blog ((hello there friendly person!!))

Oh? *turns around to face the girl* …Hello… You’re in the Principality of Hutt River, it’s in australia… Are you okay? do you need help…?


((Well, hello there~!))

Rewards for Rebellion: Tiny Nation and Crown for Life

By Norimitsu Onishi, NY Times, February 1, 2011
Principality of Hutt River, Australia–“Some people do think that Hutt River is really a new, young country, but I get a lot of German tourists through here, and I take pride in telling them that Hutt River is not really a new, young country.

"It’s quite an old country. Germany’s just celebrated its 20th year,” said Leonard Casley, referring to unified Germany as he stood just a head taller than a huge bust of himself, his right arm draped over the replica of the crown of his own head. “We’ve celebrated our 40th year.”

Behind him, inside a red-brick gazebo-like structure where a footlong lizard had sought shelter from the beating sun, a laminated and framed letter from the Australian tax authorities to Mr. Casley read that he had “been deemed to be a non-resident of Australia for income-tax purposes.” As the sign next to it proclaimed, “Welcome to the Principality of Hutt River.”

At 40 years, Hutt River is the oldest micronation in Australia, sprawling over 18,500 acres of farmland in this dusty, windswept slice of Western Australia. Back then, angered about a government quota on wheat, Mr. Casley, now 85 and still the leader, took his land and broke away from the rest of Australia. The apparent secession gave birth not only to this principality but, tapping into Australia’s convict history and an enduring popular disdain for central authority, also inspired a proliferation of new micronations across the country.

Neither the state nor federal government has recognized Hutt River as a sovereign nation. But over the decades, Mr. Casley has nimbly wielded both well-known and obscure laws–even declaring war against Australia at one point–to hold the authorities at bay. Tax officials have not denied Mr. Casley’s assertion, widely reported in the Australian news media over the years, that he has never paid taxes on business conducted inside Hutt River. Mr. Casley acknowledges, though, that he has paid annual “gifts” to the local government.

Besides the farming he and his children engage in, Mr. Casley turned Hutt River into a curious attraction visited by thousands of tourists a year. These days, busloads of mostly young backpackers find their way along the gravel roads leading to the capital of Mr. Casley’s nation, which he calls Nain. There, at the government office, visitors buy visas and have their passports stamped by none other than Mr. Casley, both for entry and exit at the same time.

“Now you’re legally in the country,” Mr. Casley said, stamping one passport. “Are you departing today?” he said in the next breath as the exit stamp came down. He acknowledged later that there was no motel anyway in Hutt River, population 20.

Still, he hastened to add, some 13,000 people had acquired citizenship in Hutt River, which allows dual citizenship. Some live abroad and act as diplomatic envoys, scoring invitations overseas for Mr. Casley, as indicated by the many photographs, newspaper clippings and copies of official documents displayed in a large room serving as a ministry of foreign affairs. Only emphysema recently prevented him from accepting invitations to visit Ivory Coast and Benin, he said.

Over the years, Hutt River has issued its own currency and stamps, featuring portraits of Mr. Casley and his wife, Shirley. As heads of a principality, Mr. Casley, known formally as His Majesty Prince Leonard I of Hutt, and Mrs. Casley, Her Royal Highness Princess Shirley of Hutt, have also bestowed knighthoods on loyal subjects. How many exactly, Mr. Casley could not recall.

Born in the gold rush town of Kalgoorlie, Mr. Casley left school at the age of 14 and eventually found himself working in shipping in Perth, Western Australia’s biggest city, about 320 miles south of here. In his spare time, he said he pored over accounting books and mastered the regulations surrounding agricultural exports, accumulating the bush lawyer’s skills that would come in handy at the time of secession. He also served on the island of Borneo during World War II.

“He was in the air force at the time, and he more or less had to do what he was told,” said Mrs. Casley, strongly hinting with a laugh that her husband was more inclined to issuing orders these days.

The attention that Hutt River has drawn over the years has led to the emergence of more than a dozen copycats across Australia. The self-styled breakaway nations–a phenomenon that came to be known as micronations long after Mr. Casley’s claim of independence–remain unrecognized by Australia or any other nations, though they are embraced by other micronations.

Mr. Casley, though, rejected being linked to other micronations. Hutt River, he insisted, qualified as a real, economically independent nation, unlike the other pretenders.

“I know one chap, when he was younger, he seceded; I think it was his bedroom he seceded with. I’m not going to link up with these.”

What Mr. Casley conceded, however, was that Australia’s soft spot for rebellious figures who thumb their noses at central authority had allowed him to survive all these decades. The state of Western Australia itself tried to secede from the rest of Australia in the 1930s; today, a core part of the state’s identity is shaped by the belief that Western Australia’s vast natural resources and small population could easily allow it to go it alone.

How about succession? Mr. Casley’s oldest son lies in waiting as the crown prince, though none of Mr. Casley’s children have exhibited, publicly at least, their father’s determination and showmanship.

“The sons really know all about it,” Mr. Casley said. “Some of them might do it better than I. None of us are irreplaceable. The world still goes on.”